OTTAWA COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Earlier this week, the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant was devalued by the state, which was a big hit for Ottawa County's tax revenues.
FirstEnergy requested the devaluation of the Davis-Besse plant, and now the nuclear power plant equipment is valued at $49 million, down from $184 million.
This translates into a loss of $4.59 million a year in tax revenue for Benton-Carroll-Salem schools in Oak Harbor. The district prides itself for being in the top 30 districts in the state, and superintendent Guy Parmigian said the district will fight to keep it that way.
"Reducing staff, reducing programming is absolutely the last option we want to look at. There's a lot of things that we can look at before we get to that point. Again, we want to preserve the great things that are going on here," said Parmigian.
FirstEnergy requested the devaluation as part of the process to exit the generation businesses, as other cheaper alternatives, like natural gas generation have begun to take a stronger hold on the industry.
"And they're like any business, they can't run a business at a loss for very long, they have investors to be accountable to," said Ottawa County commissioner Jim Sass.
State Senator Randy Gardner has promised a little under $1,000,000 from the state budget to help stem the flow for the school district, but officials know they may have to learn to live with the new lower tax revenues.
"You spend frugally, you try to tuck as much away as you can. But the bottom line is when reality hits and you lose a facility value by 75 percent, those are dollars that are tough," said Sass.
The revenue loss will take effect in tax year 2018. The district plans to hold public meetings on the budget changes moving forward.
In total, the devaluation means a loss of $6.75 million for Ottawa County.
The majority of that loss is $4.6 million at the Benton-Carroll-Salem school district, but many other organizations will also be affected.
Townships, the mental health and recovery board, even the Oak Harbor library; any entity with an approved levy will see less money come in beginning February 2018.
"They're all going to lose dollars, and this issue is lose dollars are hard to make up. You've adjusted your, I don't want to say your lifestyle, but you adjust your spending habits to have X amount of dollars coming in. And typically there's going to have to be cuts made to balance the budget. You have to have a balanced budget," said Sass.
State Senator Randy Gardner has told county officials he will work to allow the county auditor to appeal the property devaluation.